General Cycling Discussion - Pulling a kids trailer??
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I have two kids 3 and 10 months. Just getting back into cycling after about 5yrs away. Looking at buying a new bike, and wanted to know if it was easier to pull with either a road bike or mountain.
Generally a mountain bikes lower gearing will be better. That is what i use.
07-09-06, 09:43 AM
A mountain bike will have lowering gearing than a road bike, but if most of your time will be spent on the road, it may not be the best choice. For those times when you aren't pulling a trailer, a mountain bike will be slower, because the suspension soaks up a lot of the energy that would be used in forward motion. You might be better with a road bike with a triple, or getting a cyclocross or touring bike, especially the latter. A touring bike is designed to pull trailers, and carry loads. It has low gearing like that of a mountain bike, but it has the efficiency of a road bike.
07-09-06, 10:00 AM
I have pulled my son in his trailer with 3 bikes. Here are my reviews
1) Mountain bike: appropriate gearing. I spend all my time on paths. Thus, a mountain bike was overkill and very slow.
2) Hybrid: same as above but a bit faster. Still was not adequate
3) Touring bike: the best bike for pulling a trailer. I have hauled my son on rides from 4 miles to 50. Up hills down hills etc. It is the best mix of road speed and durability. Plus, the wide range of gears helps quite a bit. A week or two ago we hit some decent hills going into a town along the foothills. Everything worked like a charm.
The only problem I have is hitting 20mph while hauling a trailer. I really shouldn't go that fast while towing my son. However, that is fairly infrequent. My son does love it when he gets to go fast. :p
07-31-06, 01:40 PM
I am new to biking and am considering a road bike, I have a 2 yr old and will also use a bike trailer. I was considering the Trek Pilot 1.0- how does this compare to a touring bike? Would it be adequate to use when pulling a trailer?
07-31-06, 02:09 PM
Road/Mountain/Hybrid/Touring, you need to look at gear ratios basically. w/ hills I lug my kids around (~65# total, add 20# for trailer, more for whatever other luggage is in the trailer), I need a gear ratio <1 available (rear cog w/ more teeth than smallest front cog). People in better shape in flatter places w/ smaller kids could maybe do fine w/ off-the-shelf roadbike gearing.
I can take one kid, but not both, up the hill to home in the lowest gear on my road-like bike, 30/28.
I just about never drop to the bottom gear on my mtn bike pulling the trailer (22/34), but I do get to the point where I'm going <7 mph, and when I'm doing that I want to make sure I have either good shoulder or sidewalk 'cause that's below my straight-face cutoff of where I can be in the traffic lane and not feel guilty.
Anyway, regardless of the frame, chainrings and cassettes can be juggled to get whatever gear ratio you need, derailers permitting, to pull your kids up your topography. Keeping in mind that the kids keep growing, maybe even faster than you wear out cassettes and chains.
07-31-06, 02:27 PM
Nothing to add except make sure you have good brakes. I've toured with child and gear, the Burley trailer I have is rated for 100lbs and I've come close to the limit. The extra weight seriously impacts stopping distances, but also adds the needed weight to hit maximimum downhill speeds.
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